darkness

Shame. Top of mind.

Shame. Top of mind.

December 6, 2020
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The monthly tankespjärn-community Zoom-sessions stay with me, very much top of mind, as the saying goes, and the November-session on shame is no exception. 

The sensation of shame in the body – the way it can feel both hot and cold, all at once, how it makes me hide, freeze, become almost paralyzed, in words as well as movement. Have I done something wrong? Am I wrong? I AM wrong, and there’s nothing I can do to NOT be wrong. The connection to guilt is obvious, and regardless of what the shame is about, it can be so utterly debilitating. Shame can wrap me inside a cocoon, and, paradoxically, if I numb myself enough, that can even become a place of happiness… if I have numbed myself enough! 

It’s a heavy topic, and yet… witnessing nine souls brave it, fills me with compassion and hope. My eyes were opened to the concept of carried shame, which, I’ve discovered in the days since the call, is not just valid for shame. There’s so much I can carry that’s not mine… we are all potential carriers of things that do not belong to us, and this… helps. Weirdly enough. 

Have you seen the meme of a person stopping a bus from running over a child?
This is what I imagine when I look at my –and your– potential to stop carried shame (and other sentiments) from being passed down. I carry ”stuff” that comes from previous generations, in the same way they carry ”stuff” from the generations that preceded them, and so on. The cycle only breaks, if someone actually deals with what has been carried over from the past. Otherwise it will continue to build and build and build… 

It’s strangely emboldening to think that it is within my capability to stop this. I can put a stop to some, if not all, of what I’ve had to carry, making sure it is not carried forward anymore. (No. I don’t think I can, ever, get to the all of it, but I do believe that whatever I can address, will be an act of service for those who come after me. But also, equally as important, also for those who have gone before me. So I try. I do my best. And then, when I stumble, when I fall, when I stagger at the sheer weight of it all, I am reminded that every little bit counts.) 

Shame lives in darkness. And heals when brought to light.
Shame is processed, and heals, when brought to light; when it is witnessed.
This is why I believe my deep-dive into shame has been so revelatory, I am doing the work, and I am sharing it.
The hiding aspect of shame is what keeps shame alive, vibrant, continuing. When unhidden, when brought into light, when no longer kept under wraps, it cannot not transform. The only way to stop the hiding is to stop the hiding. 

And.
At the same time, discernment in what I am sharing and with whom is most important.
Not everyone will be able to meet me in the shame I carry, in the shame I am trying, wanting, needing to shine a light on.

And.
As with everything else, there is information in shame.
When I feel shame, I am being informed. Of beliefs (mine and/or from the cultural context I am steeped in), of energies not tended to, of the situation at hand. If I approach it thus, perhaps the felt experience will not shepherd me into darkness, paralysis and hiding, but rather, give me an opportunity to bear witness to what is going on, so that I can address it, tend to it, tend to me. In this way, shame (as much as every other felt experience) acts as a magnifying glass. It is virtually impossible to not pick up on signals of shame, they are so effective in their communication that I, at least, find it very hard to ignore. 

And when I don’t, I have a chance to ask Is it mine? And even if the answer is yes, what of it? What is the message? What is the information carried forth through the sensation of shame?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Advent Calendar 5 – Find in ME?

December 5, 2018
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When I stopped banging myself over the head on the inside, my life shifted. Gradually starting to see that the harsh voices on the inside weren’t necessarily the Truth, and learning to speak more gently to myself, made a world of difference.

It also enabled me meeting myself, as well as you. Because I was no longer afraid to meet myself, neither the light nor the darkness, it gave me the opening to truly meet people. And I am quite adamant that these meetings take place both with me meeting me as well as others. They are both significant – as I can mirror myself in all kinds of meetings.

I talked about this in my Facebook-live of the day, and a few hours later, Vanessa of Crafting Connections posted this image.

What might I find in ME when I meet YOU?

Synchronicity. I never stop being amazed at the synchronicities of the world around me – and the more aware I get of myself and my surroundings, the more synchronicity I spot.

This question is one I bring with me, but softly, like music playing in the background. Not in-your-face, but off in the distance. When I do my CoachWalks I have this question with me as well. Never as a goal in and of itself, because my CoachWalks are for my clients, so what I might find in me when meeting them is not something I have as a focal point – but it’s definitely something I am open to, being curious with an openness for what wants to happen. This openness I find benefits my clients as well, as it means I can pick up on minute shifts, both within me and them, that might very well be just what wants to be discovered in the moment.

To think… none of this might have occurred to me had I not stopped knocking myself over the head with a shovel. 


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 5 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Unexpected kindness

February 18, 2017
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I got a message, that made my eyes well up in tears.
Unexpected kindness, from a person long since in the perimeter of my life. The acknowledgement that there’s a common love, for yet another person.

With grace, I honor the love we share, and extend my gratitude, that I will be let in, when the time comes.

The unexpected kindness envelopes me in warmth and belonging, even though I long since stopped belonging to that particular tribe. And even though it is so, there’s the high level tribe that we all belong to, the one that says we are all humans.

unexpected kindnessThe realization that there is, in fact, always (!) the ability, the choice, the possibility of an intentional decision, that opens up, rather than closes down. The choice to “go high, instead of low” to paraphrase a certain First Lady, is there. Always. And being on the receiving end of someone who chooses the High instead of the Low, grants me relief, at a time when I sorely need it.

So thank you. The unexpected kindness shown to me today, brings tears of joy and relief to my weary soul, and gives me a boost to face yet another day, where hopelessness is much to rife. Provides a guiding light to shine my way through the darkness all around, ensuring I will not get lost today.

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A day of despair

February 7, 2017
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Yesterday, a day of despair. Hard to have any feeling of hope. At all. Darkness all around, people in pain, severe pain, and nothing I can do to alleviate the pain. Except to be there. And now and again, “to be there” makes me feel inadequate. Even though I know it’s a gift, not everyone get enough of. But it just seems too little, too ineffective, when pain is all around.

Today. not a doorUpon aking up, I picked up my copy of Rebecka Solnit’s book Hope in the Dark, and met hope. Again. It seems to come and go. And that’s fine. All other human emotions do the same, so of course hope would too. And when I am in contact with my sense of hope, it is much easier for me to be present, to be compassionate and hold a space of love, for those around me in need.

I don’t know where the door is, for this particular situation that grieves me so, but today, I am connected to the sense that we just might be able to find it. Somewhere. Somehow. And I am not alone. I am supported by family and friends, holding me – when I need it -, pushing me on – when I need that -, assisting me in reaching out to those who are in the know – and you bet that’s precisely what I need right now!

So. Hope. Here again. I can see the darkness; the failings, the misery, the utter and total despondence. But I also see the light; the generosity, the outpouring of love and willingness to make an effort for a fellow human being. It’s not either or, total darkness or blazing light. It’s both. At the same time. All around us. And that’s hopeful!

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Doing gentle – 40 – What do you fill your days with?

October 16, 2016
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What do you fill your days with? Light? Or darkness? Love? Or fear? Trust? Or distrust? Ownership? Or victimhood?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Do you see that it’s actually a choice we can make, all of us, for our own lives?

magpieBecause it truly is. It is a choice. I get to choose. And I can make those choices as a kind of guiding light, and/or in every moment. For me, I’ve made most of those choices on the level of guiding light, as a kind of direction in life, rather than as a choice in the moment. For instance, I’ve very clearly chosen trust. I trust those around me, I trust in the goodness of people, and I did that because I want to live in a world filled with trust, rather than distrust. When I am in distrust, life sucks, honestly. It’s so much more energy-wasting to go around distrusting people, organizations, companies, societal systems, than it is to work out of the basic assumption that I trust in all of these. I trust they are in it for the betterment of us all.

I do get knocked down once in a while, of course. And that’s hard. But I don’t want to change my basic trust in people, because when I am in trust, I feel so much better.

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the fortieth of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series. Also make sure to track back and ready the previous posts.

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Doing gentle – 23 – Dare to choose light over darkness

June 19, 2016
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I have a friend who told me she’s cut all news media from her life. The news on TV, daily newspapers, listening to the radio and so on. She’s deliberately cut it out, because it was too filled with worry, anxiety, dread, crimes, hatred, fear, terror. Too much darkness. She told me she’s choosing light instead. She’s deliberately choosing to surround herself with light. Love. Happiness. Generosity. Care and concern. She says, if there’s something going on that she really needs to know, she’ll be told. Or, she can ask.

What’s this thing about Panama-papers?

What’s happened in Brussels?

What went down in Orlando?

When she’s told, she knows enough. She doesn’t then dive headfirst into the news sites, to find out all the gory details. It’s enough to be told, to have an inkling.

glimmerThere’s been a revelation that many people we thought we could trust, have been hiding money in Panama. Investigative journalism uncovered a bunch of papers revealing names and companies, and that’s what the Panama-papers refers to.

Bombs went off, killing people. In Brussels as well as at the airport.

A mass-shooting at a night club, killing fifty people.

That’s enough. She need not know more than that.
Because she chooses light. Over darkness.

More darkness might smother the light. Whereas more light is the only thing that can affect the darkness, make it less dark.

Makes me wonder. Perhaps it’s time for me to look at my news intake as well. Or at least, balance it more? Make sure my daily diet consists of a lot more light than darkness. If nothing else, because it makes me better equipped to spread light into the world. If I get a light-recharge, so to speak, I can share my light, gladly, generously. Spread it around, and perhaps, light up a few dark alleyways?

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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